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Orient Electronics acquires startup that developed remote control for electrical appliances

Orient Electronics acquires startup that developed remote control for electrical appliances

A Pakistani startup that developed a smartphone application enabling users to remotely control electrical appliances at their home or workplace using wi-fi internet has been acquired by Orient Electronics.

The acquisition was announced in a press statement issued this week.

The Wi-Fi based Smart Switch Boards designed by Smart Devices can be connected to a number of appliances including fans, lights and air-conditioners.

Besides the smartphone application, a cloud dashboard or a browser extension is all it takes to remotely control these appliances from anywhere in the world.

Orient Electronics’ Research and Development wing BlueEast Pvt Ltd had made the first move for acquisition of Smart Devices in Fall of 2016, said the press release.

Quoting Abdul Rehman Talat, Director of Sales and Marketing at Orient Electronics, it said that Orient Electronics had monitored Smart Devices for about a year before making the acquisition offer.

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“Smart Devices is the only local startup in the Internet of Things (IoT) stream that has a finished product. It shares our vision for higher internet connectivity in Pakistan. We want to expand the horizons on person-to-machine and machine-to-person interactions and this acquisition will help us do that,” Talat was quoted as saying in the statement.

Smart Devices chief executive officer Abdul Ghaffar echoed Talat’s sentiment and said that his startup and Orient Electronics shared a vision for promotion of IoT in the country. “When it comes to electrical appliances, our strength is software and Orient Electronics is a recognized name in hardware. The acquisition makes perfect sense,” he said.

Smart Devices has already won recognition both nationally and internationally. They have won Pakistan’s first IoT Award in 2015 and been selected for Facebook’s FbStart program.

Recently, they have won the National Mobile App Award and have been nominated for the World Summit Award, which works in collaboration with the United Nations.

Prior to the acquisition, Smart Devices had been incubated at Plan9 and accelerated at PlanX at the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB).

Internet of Things (IoT) is a multi-billion dollar market and is growing faster than expectations. Put simply, IoT is about connecting devices over the internet so they can communicate among themselves and control applications.

This article originally appeared in MIT Technology Review Pakistan and has been reproduced with permission.

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